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tv   Dateline NBC  NBC  February 1, 2016 2:00am-3:00am EST

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night. she called me crying inconsolably, something awful had happened. the pain was huge for her, for our family. it's been excruciating. >> in this celebrated place, a shattering case.
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>> i was violated. >> a pretty freshman, a popular senior. >> he was handsome. >> captain of the soccer team. >> glasses. looking like harry potter. >> what had happened that night? and who was telling the truth? tonight an exclusive interviews, both sides break their silence. >> she just wanted to do what was right. >> he is an honest, kind, caring person. >> at the heart of it all, a secret. >> a facebook message. every trick in the book. >> these boys were involved in a game. this was a game to them. >> you saw emotion in him, real emotion. >> it could be my son, it could be your son. >> it's just tragedy all the way around. >> i'm lester holt. and this is "dateline."
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spring night." >> reporter: it's a place where young dreams are nurtured, where young adults are taught to live meaningful lives and are sometimes groomed for greatness. but even in places of power and privilege, teens face the same temptations and dilemmas and one wrong choice can ruin it all. >> part of a sick game and tradition. >> the case drew national scrutiny. >> she did say no and no should still mean no. >> there are two victims in this case, both the girl and my client, the boy. >> reporter: for more than a century and a half, st. paul's school in concord, new hampshire, has taught the lucky few in a rarefied world most people could only imagine. >> has got this, i think,
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excellence in the academic arena where we've sent out alumni who have gone on to just achieve things to their highest ability. >> reporter: katie tarbox is a graduate of st. paul's. >> they're really creating people who go on to be great leaders. >> reporter: ambassadors, industrialists, pulitzer prize winners and politicians. like secretary of state john kerry. owen labrie came to st. paul's from a solidly middle class background. he won a full scholarship and took the school by storm. soccer, crew, the school newspaper and radio station. >> it's very, very smart kid, a lot smarter than i am. >> reporter: john, a friend of owen labrie's, also attended st. paul's. >> i think owen is a natural born leader, as you can see through those roles that he was put in, the soccer captain and all that.
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he owned the place. but owen was moving on to bigger things. he spent the year applying to colleges, after several months of nail-biting, he caught the brass ring, a full ride to harvard. >> this is a kid who had everything going for him. >> absolutely. >> reporter: what could go wrong? well, as it turns out, plenty. which brings us to one of st. paul's newer traditions, the senior salute. had you heard, when you were there, of the senior salute? >> the senior salute was just nothing that was a part of my life there. i've spoken to alumni throughout the years. i mean, my best guess is that this began around five years ago. >> reporter: it was the kind of tradition that students only whispered about, but owen labrie knew all about the senior salute. >> labrie said that it was something that most people on
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>> reporter: jamie novograd has reported on the labrie case for msnbc since it first broke in the summer of 2014. >> he talked about it as an opportunity for a person who is leaving the school, who is graduating into a new experience, to connect with people that the student may have always been interested in. >> reporter: and the student owen labrie was interested in was a cute freshman girl who caught his eye at the start of his senior year. he had briefly dated her sister, also a senior, but now he singled out the 15-year-old for a senior salute. >> although he cast it in pretty benign and gentle terms. >> reporter: the invitation was in writing, and aside from the fact that it was an e-mail, it had the chivalrous tone of another century. it read, while the sound of my name in your inbox makes me blush perhaps more than it should, there's something i want to share with you and my evenings left to do it are
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i want to invite you to come with me to climb these hidden steps and to bask in the nicest view millville ever had to offer. she turned him down on the advice of her sister, suggesting he'd been a little too popular with the girls, including some other third formers or freshmen. owen, although i would like to climb those hidden steps with you, i'd have to decline. i would like to climb that, not the list of third formers that have spent quality time with you. so owen asked a friend to intercede with the girl, and shortly after that, he got another e-mail from her. this one in french. saying she would meet him, but it would have to be their little secret. they met on the night of may 30th, 2014. it was just after 9:00. >> they enter the math and sciences building, they climb up the steps, they go to the roof . >> reporter: and there, as he
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spectacular view. >> they looked down on campus, lights were twinkling, he had a key to an annex on the roof. >> reporter: they kiss, that much is certain. but after that, their stories diverge. according to owen, they made out for a while, and then they left separately. but the young girl told a different story. >> as she left the building, she runs into a friend of hers, and she says that she told the individual, i think i just had sex with owen labrie. >> reporter: two days later st. paul's was celebrating its graduation. owen was honored with the rector's award for selfless devotion to school activity. but while owen was savoring his award and imagining his brilliant future, the 15-year-old girl was asking a school nurse for the morning-after pill. >> the nurse asked her whether
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and the girl told the nurse that the sex had been consensual. >> reporter: back at the dorm, the girl's friends could tell something was wrong. her resident adviser heard her crying and told her to call her parents. her mother spoke with "dateline" in an exclusive interview, but asked us not to show her face to protect her daughter's identity. >> i'll never forget it. it was at midnight. and she called me crying inconsolably, and she said something awful had happened. and i said i would be there in the morning and we would get through it together. >> reporter: what she couldn't have known then was that this very private exchange would throw her daughter into the glare of the spotlight and a very ugly, very public battle that would change her life and the life of owen labrie perhaps forever.
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>> she was in shock, kind of shocked and disbelief. >> owen's senior salute, an invitation or a competition? >> there was a lot of underaged girls being targeted, not just her. >> what did happen in that darkened building on campus? that would quickly become a question for police. the more you sweat degree's motionsense technology keeps you fresh with every move. it has unique microcapsules that contain fragrances. friction breaks the capsules... ...releasing bursts of freshness all day. whether you're meeting a deadline... ...grabbing a bite... ...or heading out for the night. motionsense, protection to keep you moving. degree, it won't let you down. man (sternly): where do you think you're going? mr. mucus: to work, with you. it's taco tuesday. man: you're not coming. i took mucinex to help get rid of my mucusy congestion. i'm go od all day. [announcer:] mucinex keeps working.
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olay. ageless. >> reporter: the dust had just settled from graduation day at st. paul's school. senior owen labrie had already
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girl he invited to that so-called senior salute was still at school and in tears. on monday night after graduation, she called her mother, and what she was about to say would break her mother's heart and rock the school to its was she emotional when she called you? >> yes. she was inconsolable. she said that something awful had happened. >> reporter: the girl told her mother that she had been raped. her assailant, she said, was none other than the accomplished and popular soccer captain owen labrie. the girl had kept her story to herself that whole weekend the family was together for her older sister's graduation. >> it took her a few days to have the guts perhaps to call you, is that what it was? or maybe she was still processing what had happened? >> i'm not surprised how she reacted because she -- we were all there for our daughter's graduation.
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four years. and we were saying go make sure grandma is well taken care of and, you know, she did what she needed to do that weekend to get through the weekend. >> she was in shock, kind of shocked and in disbelief herself. >> reporter: laura dunn is a victim's rights advocate and attorney who had been working with the 15-year-old and her family. and when did she really start to process that this wasn't something that she had wanted? >> she definitely knew it was wrong right away, but her family was in town celebrating, and she had a lot of fear of what that would do to that weekend, what that would take from her sister. >> reporter: the mother raced to her daughter's side and wasted no time in getting her daughter to the hospital. there nurses conducted a rape test. the mother called st. paul's and the school called the police. it was tuesday, june 3rd. >> and the investigation began.
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girl wore that night showed the presence of semen. and the girl made clear she had only been with owen labrie. she also told them to owen and his friends the senior salute was a competition to see who could hook up with the most girls. >> there was a lot of underaged girls being targeted, not just her. >> reporter: the girl told police she actually knew about it, and she thought it was a daring thing to do. but not dangerous. >> because part of the senior salute is supposed to be some type of privilege and kind of interesting experience and so she thought it was safe to go. >> reporter: with her mother present, police asked the girl to show them the machine room where she says it happened. can you take me back to that moment and what you saw. >> she couldn't make it to the stairs. she got almost to the top of the stairs and they opened the door and she collapsed.
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you know, it was a horrible place, this is not a place to show someone unless you have awful cruel intentions. >> reporter: owen first spoke to police on june 11th from maine. he didn't just deny raping the girl. he denied they had intercourse at all. did he ever tell you about what happened on that night? >> yeah, we spoke at length about what had happened there and he always stuck by his story. >> reporter: he maintained he didn't have sex with the young girl. >> yes. >> reporter: he said the same thing when he met with police in concord the next day. but by then, police had gained access to owen's online activities. his own e-mails and social media posts weeks and months before the incident suggested he was eager to score with a girl. >> there was one friend who wrote labrie appearing to joke about how young this girl was.
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women in general, about sex, about things having to do with sex and in some cases about this particular girl. >> reporter: armed with the girl's allegations and owen's social media posts, police arrested him on july 16th. he was charged with aggravated felonious sexual assault, misdemeanor sexual assault and using a computer to lure a victim to a crime. over the next few months, he was offered plea deals, but he turned them down. by the end of the summer, harvard had quietly withdrawn its offer. st. paul's took back its award. like a house of cards, his life had fallen apart. but so had hers, and with the would know the secret about st. paul's. coming up -- >> how did that feel to you? >> really painful.
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stand and another at the defense table. >> isn't she someone who is really young?
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>> this was a game to them. >> reporter: on august 18th, 2015, owen labrie walked into an unusual kind of school reunion. his family was there, so were some former classmates. but so, too, were television cameras. the one time model student's trial on felony rape had become a national story. if convicted, he faced up to 60 years in prison. >> it's probably not the face of an individual that you think of when you think of a sexual assault. >> reporter: prosecutor catherine ruffle had a clear message for the jury -- >> this case is about owen labrie's sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl. >> reporter: your first witness was the accuser. why? >> in my experience, juries are very anxious to hear the story, and it's important for them to
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what she has to say. do you see owen in the courtroom today? >> yes, i do. i'm sorry. >> reporter: you won't be able to see the girl. we're not identifying her and are disguising her voice. but her mom painted a picture of her daughter for us. >> she's an athlete, a musician, a scholar, a great all-around human being that did nothing to deserve this. >> reporter: how difficult was it for her to be able to face and deal with what she would have to deal with in a trial? >> she never once said, i regret speaking up, never once. even in some of the darkest hours where, you know, the pain was huge for her, for our family. she's always stayed very strong. >> reporter: the girl knew labrie in passing, she testified, and had heard he had a reputation for hitting on female students.
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asking to meet, she turned him down. >> i thought he came in with the worst of intentions, as in to get me there to just kiss me. >> reporter: but she said she changed her mind after another student told her labrie was a good guy. and she admitted she was excited when they snuck up to the roof of the lindsey building. >> it was a beautiful view. i was thankful or lucky to be up there, i told myself. >> reporter: but that feeling disappeared, the girl said, when labrie led her into the machine room. >> it was virtually completely dark. it was a place where no one would have passed through, no one would have heard them, no one would have seen them. >> reporter: not a romantic place at all. >> not a romantic place, no. >> what did you do when you went inside? >> he took me behind a concrete wall. and started to kiss me. >> reporter: the girl said she
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then she said labrie started touching her in places that made her uncomfortable. she said he even started to bite her. >> how did that feel to you? >> really painful. >> did you say anything to him when he did that? >> i didn't say anything. i felt like i was frozen. >> reporter: what did she mean by that? >> this is actually really common. a lot of people think fight or flight is the way to respond. but it's fight, flight and freeze. freeze is a hugely common one, especially in your young. so her testimony is very consistent with someone experiencing trauma of sexual violence. >> reporter: the girl said the incident was jumbled in her mind but she remembered there were moments she did ask labrie to stop. >> i said no three times. and i don't know -- in that moment, i don't know how i could have made it any more clear. >> reporter: but the girl
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and raped her. so the jury had heard the girl's story of assault. the prosecutor hoped her next witnesses would offer evidence to back it up. this e.r. nurse told the jury she'd observed a small abrasion on the girl's genitals. >> could that be consistent with an assault that had occurred several days earlier? >> yes. >> reporter: this forensic expert compared dna found in the girl's underwear from that night to a dna sample given by the defendant. >> to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty, they matched. >> reporter: detective julie curtain was the first one to take the girl's statement. she also interviewed owen labrie. >> he gave me all the reasons why he said he he wouldn't have done this, because of her age, his age and his position. >> reporter: but that's not what labrie told his roommate and other close friends in the hours and days after the incident.
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of them to the stand. >> he eventually told me that, in his words, that he had boned her. >> reporter: what's more, the prosecutor told the jury labrie had been planning to have sex with the girl for months. what evidence did you have for that? >> his own words and his messages and exchanges with his friends. >> reporter: four months before the incident, labrie told his friend, malcolm, in a facebook message, that he wanted to hook up with this girl more than anyone else in the school. >> then what do you answer? >> i say, ha ha, are you kidding me, bro? >> and what does he respond to you? >> he says, total babe. >> and your next message? >> isn't she a tessa. >> reporter: labrie decided to do something about his crush and actively targeted her.
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had created a list of girls that they thought would be potential senior salute invitations that they would extend. and her name was the only name on that list that was in capital letters. >> reporter: tucker marchese was a friend who helped put that list together. he read an e-mail labrie sent him. >> welcome to an eight week exercise in debauchery, a probing exploration of the innermost meanings of the word sleazebag. >> reporter: why did you want the jury to hear that? >> because it showed the intent. it showed the purpose. it showed the motivation. and it showed that these boys were involved in a game. this was a game to them. >> reporter: there was one more facebook conversation between labrie and his friend that the prosecutor wanted the jury to hear. an exchange labrie had deleted from his computer when he found out he was being investigated. >> how did it go from no to bone? >> what's that mean?
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previous understanding that they were not going to hang out to them having -- to my understanding of them having sex. >> then what's he say? >> just pulled every trick in the book. >> we thought that was very telling that he would respond in the way that he did because it confirmed what she had reported to us, that she did say no. >> reporter: the prosecution rested its case. and the young man they said had preyed upon his schoolmate, had stolen her innocence, knew his turn had come. he was ready to take the stand and tell a very different story. coming up -- >> i was raped. >> a witness at the breaking point. a new portrait of owen, his accuser and what happened that spring night. >> she would be like on top of me a little bit, we'd roll over and giggle or something. post office. they have businesses to run.
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owen labrie's accuser had just held a courtroom spellbound. she'd taken them into the darkened mechanical room where she described how owen had raped her. now owen's attorney j.w carney was determined to break that spell. >> why were you cloudy? >> i was raped. i was violated. >> he was very clear that he was putting the credibility of the girl in question. >> you try not to lie as much as possible. >> i try not to. >> sometimes i guess you're unsuccessful. >> no. >> reporter: carney argued owen's accuser went willingly into that darkened mechanical
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that she wanted to make out. he confronted her with her own statements to police. >> he couldn't know that i was uncomfortable because i was laughing. are those your words? >> those are my words, yes. >> reporter: and continuing in the sentence -- i was trying to be cool. right? >> yes. calm, cool and collected. >> reporter: he insisted that the witness, in her own words to police, had described a hook-up with owen labrie that she found titillating. >> so you did like the attention from him when he was taking off your pants? right? >> no, i said i was excited. >> okay. you were excited when he took off your pants. is that more accurate? >> yes, and the word excited has many different definitions to me. >> cross-examining a young girl is one of the most difficult things that a criminal defense lawyer has to do. and when the person who is not being truthful is a young girl, you have to show that to the
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and if it's necessary to protect yourself, to tell a lie, that justifies it, doesn't it? >> no, it does not. >> reporter: to the defense there was no proof of rape, no proof of a crime, no proof even that the two had sexual intercourse. owen's friend had testified that he had bragged about having sex with the accuser. but they also admitted that owen might have been chest thumping to impress them. >> in your experience as a high school student, maybe someone would say something happened when it really didn't. >> it's possible. >> reporter: why would he do that? >> one of the most unfortunate things that came out at this trial is the culture at st. paul's school. he wanted to be accepted by his classmates, and so when his friends asked him if he had
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complainant, he was all too happy to boast even if it was a lie that he did have sex with her. do you solemnly swear that the testimony you will -- >> reporter: to better explain to it the jury, the defense called its one and only witness to the stand. >> my name is owen labrie. >> reporter: he started by explaining the culture at st. paul's prep. and how crude talk about girls and sex was what all the guys did. >> kids at school, especially when talking about girls, would use pretty much exclusively slang. >> for example, hook-up, score, slay? were these types of words used daily at st. paul's high school? >> yes. >> reporter: all harmless fun, he said. like the school's senior salute ritual. he did not see it as a sleazy chance to score with younger girls. >> my understanding of the
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sent toward the end of the school year either from an older student to a younger student asking to hang out before the older student graduated. >> reporter: this was owen's chance to explain in calm, measured tones, the sequence of events that unfolded as he saw them. he said he only wanted, in those final hours at this school he so respected, to show a younger classmate something special. >> it's one of the tallest buildings on campus. so at night you look out, you can see all the dorms lit up. >> reporter: eventually they left the roof and together, he said, wandered into that darkened mechanical room. they started kissing. clothes came off. a blanket was thrown down. >> after a few minutes, you know, on the blanket, you know, she would be like on top of me a little bit, maybe like one leg between mine and we'd roll over and, you know, giggle or something. we took our shirts off.
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shorts. still, he insisted they managed to keep their underwear on. her bra never came off. >> did she recoil in any way at this point? or draw back? >> no. >> reporter: he admitted things got out of hand quickly. at some point he decided to protect them both. >> i was going to have sex with this girl, so i stood up and i walked over to my shorts, which were by the wall, and i reached into my shorts and i took out my wallet and i looked in my wallet and i took out a condom. >> reporter: but then, he insists,y had had a moment of clarity. he said he stood up and put a stop to it all. >> it wouldn't have been a good move to have sex with this girl. and there were two nights left at school. it wouldn't have been a good choice for me, to me. >> reporter: he said they got dressed, kissed and parted. later in an e-mail, he typed, you're an angel.
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an angel yourself. >> in the time after the encounter that night, both owen and the complainant were very affectionate toward each other. indeed, at one point she noted that she had lost her earring, ha, ha, ha. and owen responded, i'll go and look for it tomorrow and see if i can find it. this is not the interchange between a victim and her rapist. >> reporter: the defense told the court that it was only later when gossip spread on campus about their encounter that she panicked and cried rape. co-counsel sam zaganjori -- why would she then bring all of this up and put herself through torture of a trial and all of the now harm that she has had to endure? >> on high school campus, rumor travels very quickly.
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owen's reputation. >> reporter: owen labrie had finally gotten a chance to tell his version of events. >> thank you, mr. labrie. that's all i have. >> reporter: now, it was time for the prosecutor to question the defendant and a witness chair would soon turn into a hot seat for owen labrie. coming up -- >> did you lie to him? >> yes. >> which story was the truth? and who would the jury believe? >> for the first time you saw emotion in him, real emotion. >> the verdict. when dateline continues. starvation and frostbite. today we make history. >>bienvenidos! welcome to the south pole! if you're dora the explorer, you explore. it's what you do. >>what took you so long? if you want to save
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it's what you do. it's very loud there. are you taking at zumba class? just a few miles from the privilege and possibility of the high school campus where they had met, on the second floor of the county courthouse, two teenagers had given unflinching testimony to a roomful of strangers. their wrenching stories about what happened the friday night of graduation weekend at st. paul's were so different from each other. >> you have the opportunity -- >> reporter: owen told the jury he hadn't even had sex with his 15-year-old classmate. >> it wouldn't have been a good choice for me to make. >> reporter: but that story of self-restraint which he had been telling to detectives and friends from the beginning was about to be tested publicly for
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the prosecutor went head to head with labrie in a testy cross-examination. >> you want all of these people here to believe that after all that time spent thinking about her and having foreplay that you just stopped? >> i didn't just stop. we kissed some more afterward, but i didn't have sex with her. >> reporter: so the prosecutor asked why labrie had told his friends something entirely different. >> did you lie to them? >> yes. >> do you have a problem lying? >> yeah, you know, i really, you know, i wish i hadn't. >> it is easy for you to lie? >> no. >> reporter: then what could explain why he had deleted more his computer, the prosecutor asked. >> they were incriminating, weren't they? >> no. >> reporter: it would be up to
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owen was. the perfect gentleman or the rapist who had stolen the innocence of his 15-year-old schoolmate. after two weeks of testimony the case was in their hands. both families waited nervously. michelle and her son john who had taken owen in after he was charged were at labrie's side. they say he was anxious but serene. did he ever show anger at the things that were being said in court, that it wasn't according to his own version of the events of that night? >> owen never really demonstrated anger to me. >> that was the amazing thing about it. owen never once demonstrated any type of frustration or animosity towards the process, towards the people that were testifying. >> reporter: as for the
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as amazed at her daughter's resilience. >> it's been excruciating for her. but being a pretty pure soul, she just wanted to do what was right all the way through. >> reporter: then after two days of deliberations, word came there was a verdict. owen labrie stood with his attorneys as the jury filed in. >> how say you, madam foreperson, how do you find the defendant owen labrie? >> reporter: labrie listened as the clerk read the first charge, that he had used a computer to lure his under-age accuser into having sex. it was a felony crime with severe penalties. >> guilty or not guilty? >> guilty. >> reporter: with those words, labrie went from high school graduate to felon and sex offender. the young man sobbed. >> for the first time in two
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real emotion. >> reporter: but he was acquitted of the three other felonies he faced, the counts of forceable rape. >> you say, madam foreperson, that the defendant owen labrie is not guilty? >> yes. >> reporter: instead, the jury convicted him of misdemeanor sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child. as the courtroom emptied, owen labrie reached for his mother's hand. he was granted bail until his sentencing. but his defense attorneys weren't done fighting. in addition to possible prison time under the communications decency act, labrie's conviction for using a computer to contact his victim meant that he would automatically have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. >> this punishment is so unusual and cruel based on what owen did, that i think it should be overturned.
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that does not fit the crime in your view. >> absolutely correct. >> reporter: labrie's defense had a surprising ally perhaps in katie tarbox, the st. paul's alum helped get the computer law passed 20 years ago after being sexually assaulted when she was 13 years old by a 41-year-old man she met online. she was shocked that law was being applied to the owen labrie case. >> the intent of that law was to punish pedophiles who were essentially going into like teen chat rooms posing as teenagers to lure vulnerable and innocent teenagers into situations that they didn't want to be lured in. >> reporter: some people have said that it's not fair that owen now will have to register as a sexual offender. >> i don't know why anyone would think it's unfair that an 18-year-old young man who purposefully targeted a young
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in trouble now. in what day and age would be allow such behavior to be go unpunished. >> reporter: but in a hail harry motion filed at the courthouse, that's what the attorney asked the judge to consider, to spare him a lifetime as a registered sex offender. >> coming up -- another dramatic moment for owen labrie and another dramatic message from the victim at the center.
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and i want justice. he was once a young man known for being the best of the best at st. paul's school. now owen labrie was convicted of a felony. this means he has to register
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how damaging is that to him? >> it's a scarlet letter and in his case for life. >> reporter: his defense had filed a motion asking the judge to set aside that felony conviction. the judge denied it. so as labrie sat in court for his sentencing yesterday, he faced the possibility of serious time behind bars. >> may it please the court -- >> reporter: his defense attorney pleaded with the judge to spare a young man. owen's only crime here, he said, was that he acted like a teenaged boy. >> the inescapable conclusion that one draws from the jury's verdict is that this was a consensual encounter by two teenagers. >> reporter: but the prosecutor, catherine ruffle, reminded the judge that the jury had convicted owen labrie for preying on an underaged girl.
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a prison sex offender program were vital, she said. >> your honor, i ask you to take that into consideration because, again, that is such an important component for his successful rehabilitation. >> reporter: if that was your own son, an 18-year-old who made a stupid mistake, a stupid mistake you can possibly make, does it seem fair that he will pay for that for the rest of his life? >> he had several opportunities to accept responsibility and enter into negotiated dispositions that would have called for something less. he opted not to do that. >> reporter: and then it was her turn to speak. the young victim, now 17, at the heart of all of this. >> honorable judge -- >> reporter: in a video statement she told the judge that she pitied labrie, but he deserved punishment as severe as the one he had imposed on her. >> without just and right
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of the other. i don't want to feel imprisoned for the rest of my life. i want to be safe again. and i want justice. >> reporter: labrie seemed to brace himself just as the judge said he was ready to announce the sentence. >> i observe and believe that you are neither the angel that is portrayed by your counsel and the attached letters in your memorandum, nor the devil that is portrayed by the state. >> reporter: and with that, he imposed the sentence. >> you're going to do a year in the house of corrections. and probation. >> reporter: a year in jail, probation and registration as a sex offender. and the judge was quick to add he didn't believe that the girl had given her consent. >> she was in over her head.
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>> reporter: but instead of being led away in handcuffs, owen labrie's mother grabbed him and sobbed. after the court said he would go home for now pending an appeal. >> i'm going to be handling the appeal for owen. >> reporter: his appeal lawyer says there's even a chance labrie will avoid jail altogether and clear his name as a registered sex offender. >> the best case scenario is that we win all of our issues on appeal, we come back to trial on the misdemeanors and we prevail there. that's the best case scenario. >> reporter: the family friend now says he can think about his future, whatever it may be. >> and i think that he really is looking forward to this finally coming to an end for him so that he can move on with his life. >> reporter: as for the victim, her mother told us her daughter finally feels vindicated. >> i was very satisfied that the
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impact that owen labrie's actions had on my daughter. i hope that it signals to my daughter that this hasn't been in vain, that somebody hurt her. >> reporter: i know that she feels she's a voice now for others who may feel like they don't have that voice. >> yes. and we're very, very grateful to the authorities here in new hampshire for treating her with the dignity and respect that they did from the very, very beginning. >> reporter: nbc news asked st. paul's for comment on this case. it declined. but in an earlier statement, the school did say the following. the entire st. paul's school community has been deeply affected by this incident. it is our responsibility to ensure that our students live and learn together in a community that is built on respect, caring and support for one another. in the end, says victims
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paul's case can teach all of us a lesson. what do you take away from a case like this? >> i think no means no. but the modern way of thinking, what everyone is saying is the best way of thinking about it, is yes means yes. if you don't have yes, guess what? you have a no. >> that's all for now. i'm lester holt. thanks for joining us. this sunday, the iowa caucuses. the candidates have had their say, now it's time for iowa voters to have theirs. can donald trump win here and just simply start to roll? >> i don't even think i have to campaign anymore. why am i even wasting my time? >> can ted cruz beat trump and turn this into a two-man race? >> the time for all that media noise is past. this is your time. >> what about marco rubio?
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the chief challenger to trump? >> you see some deceitful things going on in the last minute. >> ted cruz, marco rubio and rand paul are all with me here live. plus, what will the latest e-mail story do to hillary clinton's chances? >> i never sent or received any e-mail marked classified. >> can bernie sanders pull the upset and end the idea that her nomination is inevitable. >> they're going to throw everything they have at us. >> sanders joins us this morning. i'm chuck todd in des moines, iowa. joining me here for insight and analysis are tom brokaw of nbc news, jennifer jacobs of the des moines register, joy-ann read of msnbc and david brody of christian broadcasting network. cruz, rubio, paul, sanders, the candidates are all here. we're going to do our own caucus. welcome to sunday and a special edition of "meet the press." from des moines, iowa, this
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the press" with chuck todd.
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